CinemaNow movie website & platform is no more [Updated]

cinemanow-loading-ipad-1280px If you’ve recently tried to access the digital video service CinemaNow you may have had some trouble. The website and apps now either time-out in errors or redirect to a new website, CinemaNowFree, that not longer provides access to your digital movie account.

Instead, CinemaNowFree offers access to live streaming channels from categories such as Kids, Movies, News, and Sports, as well as selections from French, German, Russian and other international groupings.

CinemaNow was owned by several companies over its history such as Best Buy, Rovi Corp. and Regent Equity Partners. When the company was acquired by FilmOn in Jan. 2016 there were deals in place with 20th Century Fox, Disney, NBCUniversal, Lionsgate, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures and Warner Bros. to distribute movies and premium TV shows on-demand.

But CinemaNow apparently wasn’t able to secure a big enough chunk of the online digital movie business to survive.

[Update 1: A reader (thanks Jon!) emailed CinemaNow and they said their apps were just down. But we’ve been trying to access CinemaNow for a couple days now and get errors on iPad, iPhone, Roku, Xbox One, and PlayStation 3. Let’s see if the app versions eventually return to operating status.]

[Update 2: The CinemaNow service is no longer listed on the UltraViolet partners page.]

[Update 3: The CinemaNow app for Smart TVs and mobile devices is kaput.]

CinemaNow had been integrated into many devices and platforms including Apple iOS (even the Apple Watch!), Roku media players, Xbox and PlayStation consoles, Android, and Google Chromecast.

The service had also been an UltraViolet partner, meaning, titles validated with an UltraViolet digital code were accessible on CinemaNow. Luckily, those who purchased titles with CinemaNow can still access them through other services.

And, while the service sometimes charged up to $5 more for a digital movie than competing services such as Amazon Video and iTunes, early partnerships with studios included exclusives and bonus material not available through other services.

As of now, search results for CinemaNow web pages may take you to a 500 Error such as this former New Release page from the Canadian version of the website. However, existing Google-indexed pages from CinemaNow.com redirect to the new streaming CinemaNowFree.com website (pictured below).

cinemanowfree-pc-1280px

Image: Screenshot of CinemaNowFree.com – Aug. 8, 2017

London-based FilmOn (under the umbrella of FOTV), provides over 1,000 free streaming channels as well as premium and on demand content. The new CinemaNowFree.com website is essentially a mirror of FilmOn.com, only with a slightly different brand utilizing the recognizable CinemaNow mark.

 

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Jeff Chabot

Jeff Chabot

Jeff Chabot writes about technology, broadcasting, and digital entertainment. You can also find him on Gameverse, Gadget Review, and Google+.

27 Replies to “CinemaNow movie website & platform is no more [Updated]”

  1. Danny says:

    Has anyone had any luck? I lost about 13 movies, mostly movies for my kids (e.g., Frozen, the Princess and the Frog, Toy Story 1, 2, 3, the Lego Move, Shaun the Sheep, etc.) I did not ever link my CN account to UV (didn’t know about that) or to Disney Keychest / Movies Anywhere (didn’t know about that either). I’m so disappointed.

    I’m also starting to see the value of owning discs again…

  2. JG says:

    For those of us on CinemaNow Canada we are even more SOL as there are very few UV partners offering their streaming services in Canada. I spent close to $1,000 on movies and am only able to access a fraction of them through Flixster which is the only UV partner offering streaming services here. VODU is not available in Canada. Truly sucks! I don’t understand why they cannot at least allow us to download our content before they turn the servers off for good?

  3. Denese says:

    I just read that CinemaNow is no more. That figures. We just bought 2 Roku TVs that each had a coupon for 3 free movies from CinemaNow. So much for that.

  4. Nicholas says:

    I had over $100 worth of credit in my account when they did this and now it seems I’m just out that money. Not quite sure how they can do that.

    1. RLJ says:

      I have several hundred dollars worth of movies that I purchased and they just quit???

      This has got to bed illegal as it is theft.
      I WANT MY DAMN MOVIES BACK
      DASTARDS

  5. Lisa W says:

    Hello, I just sent a email to UV customer support. I am missing about 7 movies from my CN library. Wondering why some are there and others not. I will update if I hear back. Can someone help me with something? I am so frustrated. I have digital content on VUDU, UV, Amazon, Google Play and I’m probably missing one. How the heck do you get your purchased content in one place? Wondering how many GB’s to download one movie? Any suggestions how to organize this mess? I’m glad I keep a running list of movies purchased on DVD or Blu-ray and digitally.

  6. Anonymous II says:

    The situation has worsened as of late. Alki David shut down FilmOn entirely, laid everyone off and is refusing to pay employees their final paychecks. I noticed there doesn’t seem to be any reporting that FilmOn is now dead so it seems he has managed to keep this quiet. His new plan is to entice some employees back with the promise of stock options at a later date in lieu of any salary and with the new focus solely being on hologram technology. It would seem that literally everyone is going to have to sue him to recover anything. I would be happy to tell you more but your tip line doesn’t seem to work.

  7. Marco says:

    Sorry if you guys lost some of your digital copies, that sucks!

    Same thing happen to my BlockBuster On Demand Digital Copy Library when they went out
    of business!

    Speaking of digital copies, if anyone wants to friend eachother on VUDU and share libraries let me know [email protected]

  8. Matthew Best says:

    I’ve spent over $1,000 on movies bought on Cinema Now, what the heck do I do now?

  9. Robert Dunn says:

    What about my account Credit? I had around $30 in credit from when my B&N Nook videos were moved to Cinema now. Are they going to send me a refund check for the credit?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Here is the inside scoop.

    The CinemaNow service no longer exists in any real capacity. All of the employees have been laid off, and no one knows if payments will be made to services which allow the platform to operate (which has been the case for several weeks).

    FilmOn in its year and a half of ownership did next to nothing to support the product and regularly failed to meet even the most minimal of promises to third parties which were integral to the success of CinemaNow. The dwindling amount on content, as well as UV’s departure from the service are all a result of FilmOn refusing to invest any resources into the company outside of the labor costs of the existing employees who struggled to provide a service worthy of customers time and money.

  11. HD Report says:

    Hi John. The titles you purchased with CinemaNow should have been registered with the UltraViolet database. So, you should be able to access them through other UV partner sites such as Fandango, Vudu, etc. Here is a list: https://hd-report.com/ultraviolet-supporters/

    1. Debra says:

      You say that we should be able to access our CinemaNow account purchases through other UV partner sites like Fandango, Vudu, etc., but we don’t have an existing account with any of these partner sites. Are all of our purchases just gone?

      1. Anonymous says:

        If you have UV content, simply creating an account on another UV content providers website (Vudu, FandangoNow, etc) and then logging into your UV account there should allow you to access your UV titles. If you have any problems with missing UV titles once you do this you should contact UV customer support.

      2. Linda says:

        I am a bit upset about CinemaNow closing down, I have a few Disney Movies that I am unable to watch anywhere else. I myself have contacted CinemaNow about a refund. has anyone else? as for Linking my ultraviolet accounts I am glad I did!. At least this way I am still able to watch and keep all my movies.

        1. ADP says:

          There are a lot of comments here that seem to indicate confusion in figuring out what might be salvageable. CinemaNow sold several TYPES of digital content:

          1) Ultraviolet-enabled content, which work in conjunction with an Ultraviolet licensing account.
          2) Disney KeyChest content, which work in conjunction with a Disney Keychest licensing account.
          3) CinemaNow-only content, which was typically cheaper in price but tied exclusively to CinemaNow.

          The author of this article could clarify the content differences to highlight what is potentially salvageable for those unaware:

          1) Ultraviolet-enabled content = if you tied a UV account to CinemaNow, you “should” have your content. I have had issues in the past with vendors not properly synchronizing licensing to the Ultraviolet backend so in addition to manually verifying each purchase I also maintain a spreadsheet with title names and release dates.
          3) Disney Keychest content = if you tied a Keychest account to CinemaNow, you “should” have your content. I don’t have firsthand experience on Disney Keychest with CinemaNow.
          2) CinemaNow only content = I am 99% sure anything purchased that falls in this category is SOL.

          In addition to those of you who had credit (myself included with a whopping $2.00), I believe we are also SOL on this one.

          Until the digital content space provides better infrastructure, the only content provider I am comfortable with going forward is Apple’s iTunes.

          1. RBBrittain says:

            CinemaNow never used Disney Movies Anywhere (KeyChest). Unless they work with Disney to migrate your licenses to DMA (as Nook & Target Ticket did), your Disney movies on CinemaNow are dead. (The only Disney movies I had there were a couple with Target exclusive bonuses that were only available thru TT & CN; I lost the bonuses but still have the movies themselves on DMA.)

    2. Venessa says:

      How will we be able to access our videos if they moved over? Without a registered login linked to cinemanow, how do they load our videos? I want a refund! I spent over $800 on videos through barnes and noble and then they were transferred to CinemaNow.

      1. RBBrittain says:

        If you created an UltraViolet account and linked it to CN, you can create an account with any other UV provider and link your UV account to it to retrieve your movies. At this point Vudu is the only one I’d recommend unless you’re a Verizon FiOS subscriber; Vudu seems to be holding due to solid backing from Walmart and its being the only UV provider other than FiOS that’s also a DMA provider. (Rumor has it that the studios other than Disney are preparing to replace UV with something based on DMA’s KeyChest technology, since Apple, Amazon, Google & Microsoft all refused UV but work with DMA.)

        1. RBBrittain says:

          *linked it to CN before it disappeared. (Most UV providers strongly encouraged if not required you to create a UV account; this is why.)

        2. Someone Else You Don't Know says:

          @RBBrittain
          “preparing to replace UV with something…” is pure speculation.
          All that is known is that an upcoming announcement is due and that there will be some INTERPLAY between UV and Movies Anywhere (MA). Replacement is just people guessing about what they think or WISH would happen not what has been said because the details have been very scarce and no one in the know has remotely even come close to saying UV is going to be replaced.

          AS to others, UV is the front runner in the streaming wars. It is back by 5 of the 6 major studios and works with the 6 through their own keychest program. It is the most widely available option for Digital Code redemption and has an advantage thanks to be the baby of the movie studios in the Disc to Digital program. No other service has that ability no is going to be granted that by the same movie studios that make up the UV consortium.

          It is sad to see what CinemaNow and Flixster have done as it pertains to content purchased on those sites that is NOT UV. In the case of Cinemanow I hope those that lost money and have shows now lost because they were UV find a positive outcome.
          I NEVER thought it was right or fair for Cinemanow or currently FandangoNow to be selling Disney movies or allowed to be a redemption site for Disney movies when those movies were locked into that specific site. Unfortunately, the playing field was too large and was whittle down. Thankfully Vudu is strong and with the new pressure from I-Tunes on 4K pricing that means improved pricing on Vudu has begun to arrive.

    3. Venessa says:

      IF you go to the link that you provided, you will see that CinemaNow was taken off of that list on August 9, 2017!

    4. Shannon says:

      But if you purchased movies that were not UV (or any tv shows) then you are just plum out of luck. That is my problem.

  12. ADP says:

    I’m highly doubtful that anything tied exclusively to CinemaNow in its previous incarnation will be salvageable.

    Given the large changes we’re seeing in the UV digital retailing space, I’m just not sure the system will survive in it’s current form. Personally I am going to continue my digital purchases exclusively through iTunes until the studios sort out the now nearly 7-year old (!) licensing mess. My guess is that at some point the studios will have to capitulate to the likes of the Apples and Googles of the space.

  13. john says:

    the new cinema free is garbage old movies n tv shows spent 18$ for a month subscription only to cancel 2 hrs later , out 18 bucks live n learn but personally i think its misleading and i now have lost my movies i bought online with cinema now total BS

  14. Oscar says:

    Is there any information about how people with credits on their accounts will be compensated?

    1. Jeff Chabot says:

      Hi Oscar. The support requests we have made all say the same thing — that they are “encountering serious problems that are proving difficult to resolve.” We don’t expect CinemaNow to come back as it was, but who knows? We’ll update the article with whatever we find out.

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